Universiteit Leiden

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University Council

The University Council (UR) is a democratically elected participation body in which students and staff of the University are represented. The Council follows the decisions of the Executive Board critically, issues solicited or unsolicited advice and has a say in important decisions by the Board.

The Council is composed of eight staff members and eight student members from all faculties and supporting services. Students elect new representatives every year, while staff members do this every two years.


The powers of the University Council are specified in the Higher Education and Academic Research Act (WHW) and the Regulations of the University Council.

What typifies co-determination at Leiden University is that the Executive Board considers the opinion of the University Council to be important, regardless of the Council’s formal powers. The aim is always to reach a consensus.

Student and staff parties

Leiden University has parties that represent the students or the staff members. Click below to see the:


The authorities of the University Council are set out in the Higher Education and Research Act (WHW) and the University Council Regulations. The University Council has the following rights:

  • Right of consent with respect to the decisions of the Executive Board, concerning among other things:
    • The institutional plan
    • The design of the quality assurance system
    • The budget in broad lines
  • The right to advise the Executive Board (consultation right) concerning among other things:
    • Issues relating to the survival and satisfactory performance of Leiden University
    • Policy relating to the institution of holdings and private companies
    • Models for the Course and Examination Regulations (OERs)
  • The right to bring matters to the attention of the Executive Board of its own initiative (right of initiative)

Language policy

The Guideline on Language Policy states that a minimum of a passive knowledge of Dutch at B1 level is needed in order to take part in participation councils such as the University Council. This is required because Dutch is in principle the language of administration. Those interested in testing their level of Dutch can test their knowledge online, such as via Dialang, or they can take the entrance test at the Academic Language Centre of Leiden University. Moreover, those interested can follow an introductory online course in Dutch or can request for resources to follow a course in Dutch once they get elected in a participation body.

Results student section elections University Council 2019 (in Dutch)

You will find an overview of the election results and turnout for the University Council student section below.

View the results

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